We were decided on one thing; we'd go out to Lunch. A couple of early potential options came to nothing and so we decided to travel on to Farnham where there are several good eating places and we were sure we'd find a table and a half decent lunch.
Our first port of call was discarded as parking places were not available so we travelled on into Castle Street and I decided we'd give Brasserie Blanc the try that we'd been thinking about each time we'd been in the area.
We arrived around noon and there were a few other diners already there. Some customers were leaving - possibly the late morning coffee brigade - but we had a wide choice of tables. We were given menus both the A La Carte and Maman's Lunch Special for July. I also had a quick look at the extensive wine list - although driving meant strictly looking only!
There were some very interesting and classic dishes on both menus. In addition there was a specials' board with Bouillabaisse featured - somewhat interesting spelling on the Board, but that's being picky.
Despite the excellent options we were looking for a reasonably light lunch and opted for Maman's Menu. I started with a herb salad with a poached egg whilst my wife chose the chick pea salad. My salad was very fresh and tasty although slightly over salted; my wife's was rather dull and not seasoned at all and there was very little smoked aubergine - simply a little as garnish. Unusually she added both salt and pepper to her dish. Also, interestingly, her plate was quite hot whilst mine was warm - a bit of a surprise with salads.
Both main courses were much better. I had stuffed lamb's heart with mash and carrots whilst my wife had the vegetable risotto - which she enjoyed. My lamb's heart was tender and tasty and I was happy with the vegetables. I have to say that the sauce was delicious and we really needed some bread to clear it up!
We both had the home-made profiteroles which were light and full of cream and accompanied by fine flavoured dark chocolate sauce. We enjoyed those.
The Menu we chose provided a free glass of wine whether red, white or rose. As I was driving, and my wife does not often drink at lunch-time, we declined and were offered complimentary lemonade and diet coke instead which was a nice touch.
We had a large bottle of sparkling water and, with service added by me our bill came to £36 which was pretty good value.
In a pause between courses I checked other Reports on the Restaurant. I was surprised to find a wide range and a number that were very critical. I have to say that I admire Raymond Blanc and we thought the Menu was very promising. Prices were generally reasonable and the service was quite prompt and attentive. We were sitting some way from the outside terrace and were mildly irritated by the cigarette smoke that came in from outside on occasions but that's a small point.
Napkins were large and linen as we like; and there was a good French-feel to the place aided by the décor. It might be a thought to give some bread almost instead of the complimentary wine as we are certainly used to that in most "French" restaurants that we visit.
It was not fine dining but it was generally well presented and served and the ingredients were good quality. It's not an excellent and a couple of small things did slightly detract but we'll be visiting again and we hope that they succeed and we'll be able to visit for some time to come.
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